EDS finish sixth after Schalke shootout
- 04 August 2013 16:32
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
There was an England v Germany penalty shootout for fifth place on the third and final day of the Oberndorf Tournament.
Anyone versed in international footballing history won’t be surprised to hear that City were unable to overcome Schalke from the spot after a 1-1 draw in the Oberndorf Tournament.
Seko Fofana was the unfortunate player to miss the crucial penalty which gave the German side a 5-4 victory but City could reflect on a positive performance where they fought back after going a goal down in normal time.
England youth international striker Jordi Hiwula continued his impressive return from long-term injury with his third goal in as many games in Germany, landing him the tournament's golden boot.
Patrick Vieira opted to make a few changes to the line-up from the one that won the fifth place semi-final against Benfica 3-1.
Tosin Adarabioyo was handed his first start in Germany alongside Jason Denayer at the heart of the back four, with captain Mathias Bossaerts shunting over to right-back.
Angus Gunn was given the opportunity to stake his claim for the no.1 jersey and George Glendon was fielded as the midfield anchor in place of George Evans.
City began brightly and won a penalty on their very first venture into the Schalke penalty area after four minutes.
Schalke made Vieira’s men pay for that missed opportunity by taking the lead six minutes later, as Felix Blatter wriggled himself free of the centre-backs and hit a shot which deflected and looped over Gunn into the back of the net.
The boy Blues would have to wait just seven minutes to get on level terms and it was a goal of the highest quality when it came.
City sliced the opposition apart with a lightning fast counter-attack spearheaded by Marcos Lopes, who drove at the Schalke defence before slipping in Rusnak on the right wing.
The Slovakian’s cross was inch perfect, giving Hiwula the simplest of tasks to continue his three-match scoring streak by slotting past the keeper.
Gunn made an incredible one-on-one save on the stroke of half-time to keep the scores level but Hiwula was also unlucky not to score before the break after more good link-up play with Rusnak.
With the quality of the play clear to see in that first half, it was strange that both sides found themselves contesting a fifth-place play-off.
City’s defeat in the opening game to Borussia Monchengladbach ultimately cost them dear but they were determined to finish their spell in Germany on a positive note.
However, Gunn was required again shortly after the restart, tipping a goal-bound header over the crossbar before left-back Greg Leigh had a chance to score his third of the tournament with a header that drifted a yard wide of the target.
In truth, the second half struggled to match the dramatic heights of what had come before as both teams were perhaps guilty of trying to overplay at times but substitute Thomas Agyepoke could have prevented penalties in the last seconds with a header from a Fofana cross which the keeper did well to repel.
With that, the final whistle blew and the teams went straight into a shootout.
Hiwula, Bossaerts and Bytqyi all put their spot kicks away but Olivier Ntcham failed to make the Germans pay for missing their third penalty after he saw his saved.
Rusnak showed great character to step up to take the crucial fifth penalty and exorcised his demons from earlier in the game by scoring but Fofana’s miss in sudden death proved terminal.
Fofana's disappointment wouldn't last as he was named Player of the Tournament after the final which Fluminense won.
Vieira’s team travel back to the UK tomorrow ahead of their first Barclays u21 Premier League encounter against Fulham next Sunday.
There will be a feature length interview with new EDS boss Vieira coming up at the end of the week here on mcfc.co.uk and plenty of build-up to the new season at youth level.
EDS XI V Schalke: Gunn, Bossaerts, Adarabioyo, Denayer, Leigh, Glendon, Lopes, Fofana, Bytyqi, Rusnak, Hiwula.